We all know how to do a Google search, but if writers are hoping to discover where their readers might be hanging out online, it’s a good idea to familiarize themselves with the advanced options that Google offers. Here, we talk you through how to use them to your advantage.
When it comes to connecting with our readers, every little helps. So if you are trying to locate forums where potential readers might be interacting or guest post opportunities for a niche audience, you need to become a pro at giving Google the information it requires to bring up the best kinds of results for you, and that’s where Google’s advanced search tactics come in handy.
Google works by using search parameters input by you to calculate the best results. You might want to find a forum where people who love otherworldly sic fi discuss their favourite books. However putting a phrase in that’s going to get you those specific results is tricky as Google will examine ALL the words you type in and deliver as many results as possible – some of which are bound to be totally irrelevant.
However, by placing particular words or notations around or in the search, you are allowing Google to see more clearly what you want. You are creating rules or stipulations that indicate to Google what you actually want, and therefore allow them to provide you with more precise results.
You can do this by:
Placing quotation marks around particular words – this tells Google you want search results that include this word exactly and no variations, such as plurals or different spellings, to come up in your results.
Using an “Allin title” this will indicate to Google you want a specific word to be in the title title of the results For example you type in: AllinTitle: “Writing Tips for Authors” you will only see results that have those exact words appearing somewhere in the title of the webpage.
This technique is ideal for those looking to increase market engagement. It brings up super targeted information that you might not otherwise see.
Site: — : If you type this into Google it tells Google you only want it to scan only the pages on a particular site. So, if you are looking for a particular word or phrase within a website this is extremely helpful. So you can use this to scan a particular forum or community to see every time they mention any term that is relevant to you and your work.
A Boolean search. This method allows you to ask Google to search for more than one specific word or phrase. We tell Google we want both this and that. If it doesn’t have both, Google won’t bother showing it to us. Doing this helps you find very specific information that can be used to discover readers, conduct research and locate information that can help you sell your book.
All the above methods can help writers really narrow down search results and save loads of time, especially when searching for something that is unlikely to be at the top of Google’s search results.
So next time you are looking for readers and conducting market research, try the above – it can be a real game changer if you do.
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